There is a core group of co-workers that like to take an hour out of their evening each week to grab a drink. Usually we can be found at either Groveland Tap down the street, or Lake Monster up the road. Occasionally we range a bit further, but we tend to stick close to the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul. When a new brewery opens within our range it’s an easy sell to the group. Dual Citizen Brewing Company is the latest brewery to fall before our thirsty gaze!
Dual Citizen sits near Highway 280 in St. Paul but almost right on top of the invisible divide between the Twin Cities. Many of my visits result in a post-boulder pint after a climb at the nearby Vertical Endeavors Twin Cities Bouldering gym. Before entering I suggest walking out to University Avenue and plopping yourself out in front of the tallest building on the block. You will see a facade that mirrors that of Chicago architect Louis Sullivan and it’s the primary reason the Chittenden & Eastman Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After a glance into the past enter the Dual Citizen taproom and admire the blend of historic warehouse and modern industrial interior design that craft breweries do best. Nearly floor to ceiling windows let the sunset spill into the taproom making this spot one of the finest during the golden hour. The light brick walls and cavernous ceilings mesh seamlessly with wood columns, tables and chairs. Grey and brown is your color scheme here, minimalistic with an attention to detail. Seating is a mixture of large high tops near one wall, regular tables against another, and a two sided rail in the center of the room. There is also a long concrete bar cutting the taproom off from their cooler and brewing equipment. Another unique feature is the fact that they are located on the acute angle of the building. This makes all of the lines in the taproom blend together in a much more visually interesting way. It’s hard to describe unless you’re there.
Make note that every beer on the Dual Citizen tap list is named after a street in St. Paul or Minneapolis. They’ve usually got over ten beers on tap and there’s a wide range of styles. I ordered a flight beers and a half-pint to follow it. The flight is served on a curvy wooden flight board with their logo burned into the handle. Simple but very well done, just like the rest of the decor. The beers were Humboldt Mosaic Dry Hop Pale Ale, Franklin Coffee Brown Ale, Wesley White Chocolate Stout, Iglehart IPA, and Osceola Amber Ale. Overall none of the beers blew me away but I would say they are all true to style. Out of the five, I enjoyed Franklin the most and I’ve ordered it several times since. It’s got a nice malt backbone with a light roast quality, creamy and smooth without much bitterness. In my iteration they used coffee from Bootstrap Coffee Roasters and if that’s still the case they missed a chance to call this one Vandalia (the street they are located on)!
Something you’ve got to keep in mind when you visit Dual Citizen is parking. There is a lot right behind the building which borders their small patio, but they’ve only got a handful of spots reserved for the brewery. On street parking is possible but unless you’re lucky you’ll be walking. Your best shot will be the parking lot across the small street behind their building. Despite the hassle the destination is worth it! Dual Citizen has one of the most visually striking taprooms I’ve ever been to and it keeps me coming back. Their beers are rotating more frequently and I’ve seen a lot more barrel aged beers on tap that I have yet to try. If their beers can catch up with their interior design this will be one special place!